Why Did I Disappear?

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Chapter 7: Gay-Bashed

I went home to have lunch and get some rest. I normally didn’t sleep in the middle of the day so I found it hard to go to sleep with the sun peeking through the curtains. Sleep didn’t come, so I eventually I got up and started to clean. I dusted the house once a week. I set up a room for Luke cause I knew no matter what he’d probably end up staying with me or if all went well maybe he’d move in with Trev.

I got the call at 5:30 pm. I didn’t expect a call from Trev but rather Luke. I expected they’d probably end up drunk and need a ride or place to stay for the night but that wasn’t the case when Trev called.

He was crying and apologizing at first.

“I’m sorry, Dean. I tried to protect him. But there was seven of them and they wouldn’t stop. They had knives. There were four white guys, two black and one like mexican looking dudes. The one who attacked Luke directly was white and about six foot two. We’re at the hospital, the doctors say he’ll be fine but... Maybe I shouldn’t have asked him out...” Trev sounded panicked and concerned.

If I were my father, I might have been mad at him for a number of reasons but I wasn’t him, and I never would be.

“Trev, calm down. This isn’t your fault. And I’m not mad at you. You didn’t do this to him, those ignorant homophobes did,” I cut him off quietly trying to calm him. “Don’t regret taking him out. He probably enjoyed being himself without people judging. People just need to grow up and accept things.”

“I know it’s just I feel responsible because you’re my friend and normally when you like someone you’re supposed to protect them, I couldn’t do that. I shouldn’t have left my gun at home,” he stutters.

“Being armed might have made it worse. I’m grateful you’re both alive. I’ll be there soon. Trev, if you really care about each other you’ll recover from this and try a second time,” I assure him.

“Okay, see you soon,” I hear him sniffle.

“Bye,” I say calmly hanging up.

I thought Alabama was different from Bristol. But I guess it still had those people. The ignorant, stupid, misguided, judgemental, homophobes who thought the gay, lesbian, trans, or whatever else there was out there could be beaten out of a person. Who thought it was wrong and could be cured, who thought it was a choice and not a part of a person.

The drive to the hospital is worrying, Trev said Luke was gonna live but that didn’t mean I was prepared for the shape he’d be in. He had said there had seven guys, with knives.

It was pouring rain now. The sky was a cool gray and the roads slick black.

Everything seemed to be going wrong. Maybe I should have denied being Haley. He would have pestered me till I admitted it but maybe Trev wouldn’t have asked him out as soon if I had denied it.

I told Trev not to blame himself and here I was blaming myself. My parents would have blamed me. They would have said if he hadn’t come looking for me none of this would have happened, and well that might have been true I would still be the solitary person I was if he hadn’t believed I was alive and come to find me.

When I got to the hospital it felt like a clock was ticking. I had trouble being allowed into the room cause they didn’t know my deal. Eventually, they called up to the room and asked Luke and he sorted my story or fake story out.

Once I got up there, I saw a devastated Trev with his face buried in his hands. He had some cuts and bruises. Luke was bandaged on his left arm and right leg. They must have cut or stabbed him there.

“They called mom and dad before we could do anything. They’re flying here,” Luke croaked apologetically.

“What do they think happened?” I ask.

“That I was mugged and Trev tried to save me,” Luke whispered quietly. “I’m sorry, Dean.”

“It’s not anyone’s fault. But I just don’t know what I’m going to do,” I reply quietly.

“We’ll figure this out, okay? We’re going to tell them, together about both of us and we’ll deal with whatever repercussions later,” Luke assured me.

“Okay, we’ll do it, together,” I agree.

“As Dean’s friend and your date, I will be there for you. We’re all in this together,” Trev concluded kissing Luke on the forehead.

Luke smiled.

“All for one,” I uttered.

“And one for all,” Trev and Luke chuckled.

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